BABA, s. This is the word usually applied in Anglo-Indian families, by both Europeans and natives, to the children—often in the plural form, baba log (log=‘folk’). The word is not used by the natives among themselves in the same way, at least not habitually: and it would seem as if our word baby had influenced the use. The word baba is properly Turki = ‘father’; sometimes used to a child as a term of endearment (or forming part of such a term, as in the P. Baba-ja, ‘Life of your Father’). Compare the Russian use of batushka. [Babaji is a common form of address to a Fakir, usually a member of one of the Musulman sects. And hence it is used generally as a title of respect.]

[1685.—“A Letter from the Pettepolle Bobba.”—Pringle, Diary, Fort St. Geo. iv. 92.]

1826.—“I reached the hut of a Gossein … and reluctantly tapped at the wicket, calling, ‘O Baba, O Maharaj.’ ”—Pandurang Hari [ed. 1873, i. 76].

[1880.—“While Sunny Baba is at large, and might at any time make a raid on Mamma, who is dozing over a novel on the spider chair near the mouth of the thermantidote, the Ayah and Bearer dare not leave their charge.”—Aberigh-Mackay, Twenty-one Days, p. 94.]

BABAGOOREE, s. H. Babaghuri, the white agate (or chalcedony?) of Cambay. [For these stones see Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. i. 323: Tavernier, ed. Ball, i. 68.] It is apparently so called from the patron saint or martyr of the district containing the mines, under whose special protection the miners place themselves before descending into the shafts. Tradition alleges that he was a prince of the great Ghori dynasty, who was killed in a great battle in that region. But this prince will hardly be found in history.

1516.—“They also find in this town (Limadura in Guzerat) much chalcedony, which they call babagore. They make beads with it, and other things which they wear about them.”—Barbosa, 67.

1554.—“In this country (Guzerat) is a profusion of Babaghuri and carnelians; but the best of these last are those coming from Yaman.”—Sidi ’Ali Kapudan, in J.A.S.B. v. 463.

1590.—“By the command of his Majesty grain weights of babaghuri were made, which were used in weighing.”—Ain, i. 35, and note, p. 615 (Blochmann).

1818.—“On the summit stands the tomb .… of the titular saint of the country, Baba Ghor, to whom a devotion is paid more as a deity than as a saint.…”—Copland, in Tr. Lit. Soc. Bo., i. 294.

1849.—Among ten kinds of carnelians specified in H. Briggs’s Cities of Gujaráshtra we find “Bawa Gori Akik, a veined kind.”—p. 183.

BABBS, n.p. This name is given to the I. of Perim, in the St. of Babelmandel, in the quotation from Ovington. It was probably English sea-slang only. [Mr Whiteway points out that this is clearly from albabo, the Port. form of the Ar. word. João de Castro in Roteiro (1541), p. 34 says: “This strait is called by the neighbouring people, as well as those who dwell on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Albabo, which in Arabic signifies ‘gates.’ ”]

[1610.—“We attempting to work up to the Babe.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 52.]

[1611.—“There is at the Babb a ship come from Swahell.”—Ibid. i. 111.]

1690.—“The Babbs is a small island opening to the Red Sea.… Between this and the Main Land is a safe Passage…”—Ovington, 458.

[1769.—“Yet they made no estimation of the currents without the Babs”; (note), “This is the common sailors’ phrase for the Straits of Babelmandel.”— Bruce, Travels to discover the Source of the Nile, ed. 1790, Bk. i. cap. ii.]

BABER, BHABUR, s. H. babar, bhabar. A name given to those districts of the N.W. Provinces which lie immediately under the Himalaya to the dry forest belt on the talus of the hills, at the lower edge of which the moisture comes to the surface and forms the wet forest belt called Tarai. (See TERAI.) The following extract from the report of a lecture on Indian Forests is rather a happy example of the danger of “a little learning” to a reporter:

1877.—“Beyond that (the Tarai) lay another district of about the same breadth, called in the native dialect the Bahadar. That in fact was a great filter-bed of sand and vegetation.”— London Morning Paper of 26th May.

BABI-ROUSSA, s. Malay babi1 (‘hog’) rusa (‘stag’). The ‘Stag-hog,’ a remarkable animal of the swine genus (Sus babirussa, L.; Babirussa alfurus, F. Cuvier), found in the island of Bourou, and some others of the I. Archipelago, but nowhere on continental Asia. Yet it seems difficult to apply the description of

  By PanEris using Melati.

  Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.